A message from Fr. Declan

Greetings to all. Firstly in this time of isolation, I’m so glad to be able to use the Ballinora Community website to communicate with the people of our parish; I’m grateful to the people who set it up to those who maintain it, and to those who are posting useful information on it. I’ll be as brief as I can. In the absence of public Masses, and of a parish newsletter, there are a number of things that I need to say.

Please take every step to stay safe, and to keep each other safe.

Limit direct social contact, Keep social distancing of 2 metres, keep washing hands, and obey the guidelines of government and HSE.

The elderly, as well as many other categories, are especially vulnerable. But nobody has immunity. A letter from a GP on today’s Irish Times stresses that each of us is a frontline healthcare worker, responsible for the health of those around us, and not the doctors and nurses etc who treat the symptoms after we have been infected. But please do not socially isolate completely. Use the phone and the internet for shopping and for contact with others.

I’ve been so encouraged by the number of people who have contacted me offering help and support. This is where the God of Love is active in this crisis.

In the absence of Mass, make use of the internet for faith support.

The Mass is broadcast live from many churches on Churchservices.tv, from Corkcathedral.ie, St Mary’s as well as on RTE each morning. The Diocesan website corkandross.org has a number of prayer supports.

Contact me

Even though I cannot easily meet people, I wish to remain in contact as much as possible. Please feel free to ring me or contact me with worries, fears, to ask for prayers. I’m contactable by:

Mass

Even though I’m not celebrating Mass publicly, I’m celebrating Mass in private, and I’ll be praying for the people of the parish, especially the vulnerable, during those Masses. I hope you will also keep me in your prayers.

I’ll offer Mass myself privately for the intentions which have been booked into the sacristy, anniversaries.

You may still book others with me which will be celebrated privately.

To connect you to the weekend Masses, we’ll record and published them as videos.  See the first, recorded and uploaded for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, 21 March 2020

I hope this will help to keep us together as a praying community.

It’s not possible to stream it live as there is very little internet connectivity at the Church.

Sincere thanks to Pat Tuite, Grace Tyrell and Pat O’Connor for making this broadcast possible.

Weddings

A number of weddings have been booked by parishioners in the next months. Some have already been postponed. The current guidelines – between HSE and bishops – are that a Catholic wedding can still take place on the day planned, with a short private ceremony of vows and blessing with the couple, priest and two witnesses.

This is all that is required in order that the relationship between the couple is officially recognised, become sacred and sacramental and a source of God’s supportive presence. A more public celebration can take place at a future date.

Funerals

Again the guidelines are that the only ceremony that can safely take place is a private funeral Mass, with only the most immediate family present.

There can be no gathering for Rosary or Removal. You’ll have seen the wording and restrictions on RIP.ie

This is a very difficult situation for those bereaved, to be allowed so little comforting social contact. A commemoration of the person’s life and public religious ceremony can be had at a future date.

Baptisms

Congratulations to anyone in the parish who has given birth to a new child recently. It’s still possible to carry out baptisms in churches, but with the least number of people present. It’s up to each couple to make a responsible decision around timing, postponing until safe. But remember the spiritual benefit to the child. Again, a celebration with family and friends could be held later.

Communion to the sick and housebound

Obviously, it would be irresponsible for a priest to continue to visit the sick regularly, increasing the risk of spreading infection. But if any person who is ill or housebound needs to make contact with me for the sacrament of the blessing of the sick or Holy Communion, please contact me.

Arrangements can be made on an occasional basis for a family member to be delegated to bring Communion if needed. But only under the strictest aseptic conditions.

Spring Station Dues

It’s not possible for the Dues envelopes to be distributed safely and no further Station Masses will take place. A box of Dues envelopes will be left at the back of the Church. If you’re out walking or passing the church, please take one and put them in my letterbox or post them to me.

Thanks

Fr. Declan

Ballinora Person of the Year 2020

The 2020 Ballinora Person of the Year has been awarded to Tim and Marie Twomey.

This dynamic couple has been involved in many aspects of Ballinora life for several years, including the GAA, Community Association and most notably the TidyTowns Association.

They’re warm, welcoming and full of enthusiasm for anything that will improve our parish and provide people with a greater sense of community.

They’re very worthy winners and we wish them well for the coming year.  A proper presentation and celebration will be organised to mark their award as soon as possible.

The Parish Word: 7 and 8 March 2020

The Gospel Picture: A snapshot of a wonderful moment of Jesus’ life. His father lifts him up for the world to see. More proud of His child than of all his other achievements. A New Creation; God has entered the world and human existence. The Father speaks to him words of love and acclaim, loud enough to hear. Bathes him in the light of heaven. The onlookers are thrilled. “Listen to him!” they are told. And we have the Gospel picture for life; we are to be nourished with that love and life and light. And we must listen.

Fear: But the disciples fell on their faces, afraid. Fear is the most crippling of all human emotions. It drains our energy, leaves us paralysed and tired. Nervousness sometimes spurs us on to do our best, but other times, it holds us back. Maybe the disciples were simply overawed in the presence of such dazzling brightness, but maybe they just felt totally humbled and sinful in God’s sight. But Jesus touched them and said ‘Don’t be afraid. Get up!’ What encouragement! Have you ever been touched by Jesus in this way? You have! But you haven’t recognised Him in your friends and family.

Down the mountain: Peter, James and John opened their eyes and ‘they saw only Jesus’. “Tell no one about this vision until the Son of Man is risen from the dead” he said. But they did tell others, because he did rise from the dead, and those others have told us… and here we are as followers of Jesus in 2020. The Gospel disciples were so overcome by having witnessed the glory of Jesus that they couldn’t keep it a secret. What do we do? Have we seen this side of Jesus? Do we keep our faith as something private to ourselves alone? We too are children of God, who says to us ‘You are my beloved son, my daughter’, and we have a task to do. There’s a family to love, wounds to be healed, faith to be lived. We have to bring Jesus into the real world. Mountains are lovely places, but God came down to our level in Jesus, and we must find him, especially in some of the unlovely places in our lives.

 

Talk by Fr. Philip Mulryne OP

Fr. Philip Mulryne is a young Dominican Priest based in Popes’ Quay, in charge of the formation of their young students. He’s a former professional soccer player, who played as a midfielder with Manchester United and with Norwich City.

At the height of his career, he experienced a call to follow God more closely.

Fr Philip will share his fascinating personal story in St James Church, after our parish Mass, on Tuesday night, March 10th, at 8 pm.

We hope it’ll be of interest to all parishioners, and especially to the families of teenagers and young adults.

The Parish Word: 29 February and 1 March

  • Take 20 Minutes in the course of each day to pray. (Can be divided into shorter ‘prayerbites’ of a few minutes to suit your daily routines. A conscious effort to use traffic jams, bus and bank queues, waiting rooms as prayer spaces)
  • Attend daily Mass. If not possible, go on one other day of the week other than Sunday. (Evening Mass in Ballinora at 7.30pm)
  • Go to the Sacrament of Confession or a Reconciliation Service even once during Lent.
  • Read a passage of Scripture each day or visit a website like Catholicireland.net for the Mass Reading of the day or download the ‘Universalis’ app for laptop or phone.
  • Pray the Stations of the Cross maybe on a Friday during Lent. Follow the journey of Jesus; his tormentors, his supporters.
  • Try to say some simple common prayer together as a family each night.
  • Read the life-story of a Saint who appeals to you (the Confirmation Candidates should be experts on Saints for their new names!)
  • Take on a person to visit at home, in nursing home or hospital.
  • Support the poor. Donate to Trócaire, Penny Dinners, Vincent do Paul. Better still offer your services, maybe in a Charity Shop, or Marymount.
  • Organise a charity event – a coffee morning maybe, for a good cause.
  • When Lent is over, make sure to continue your effort….

 

Talk by Fr. Philip Mulryne OP

Fr. Philip Mulryne is a young Dominican Priest based in Popes Quay, in charge of formation of their young students. He is a former professional soccer player, who played as mid-fielder with Manchester United and with Norwich. At the height of his career he experienced a call to follow God more closely. Fr Philip will share his fascinating personal story in St James Church, after our parish mass, on Tuesday night, March 10th, at 8pm. We hope it will be of interest to all parishioners, and especially to the families of teenagers and young adults.

Recent death 

We celebrated recently, after a long illness, the funeral of Seán O’Regan of Ballinora. Belated sympathy to Hilda his wife, to Clare his daughter, to his siblings, and his extended relatives and friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dhílis.

Baptisms

We have welcomed into our Christian family, since the New Year:
  • Conn Michael Hodnett
  • Abbey Anna Sorensen
  • Harry Liam Sorensen
  • Saoirse Ann Brennan
  • Killian Thomas Curtis Flynn